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Kinney, Thomas P. / Irish settlers of Fitchburg, Wisconsin, 1840-1860

Fitchburg in the 1990s,   pp. 74-78 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 78

Whalen pioneers. Some Irish-American clans who own land in
other parts of western Fitchburg are the McKees and Purcells.
Over the years, some Irish families moved away from
Stoner Prairie and others moved into the area. The Barry sur-
name is no longer found on Stoner Prairie, but members of the
family live near Oak Hall corners in southern Fitchburg, and
-B        Barry Stables is located on County M. The nearby stone "Barry
--House" is now owned by the Reddan family Some Irish names
are memorialized by parks in western Fitchburg, such as
Byrnewood Park and McKee Farms Park.
The Irish immigrants of 1840-1860 succeeded in
establishing an enduring presence in Fitchburg. Pre-Famine
and Famine-era settlers engaged in years of hard work as
homesteaders, and as a result Fitchburg became a vigorous
southern Wisconsin Irish community. Almost all of the old
Yankee families of Oak Hall and Lake View, as well as the
. .......                                      German settlers near the intersection of Seminole Highway
and McKee Road, have moved away from Fitchburg in search
of new opportunities. But the Irish who came to Fitchburg to
Stoner Prairie Elementary School is located on Devoro Road, near  establish new homelands for their clans remain. During the
West Lacy Road. The school was built in 1988 on a farm once owned  years 1840 to 1860, the Fox, Irish Lane, and Stoner Prairie
by Moses and Maria Lacy of the Irish Stoner Prairie Settlement.   settlements were home to families who built a thriving Irish-
Photo taken in 1992.                                              American community in Fitchburg that has continued to
this day.
death, the McCoy House was saved from demolition and fully
restored by the Tony and Mickie Schmudlach family This
house, too, is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the western side of Fitchburg in the Stoner Prairie
area, Irish families can still be found farming the onetime
prairie land described in Lorin Miller's 1833 survey With the
notable exception of the Vroman property, almost the entire
Stoner Prairie is owned by Irish-American families. Current
landowners include the Dunn, Grady, Lacy, O'Brien, and
Richardson families. Farmland owners south of Stoner Prairie
include Gundlachs and Geraths, who are descendants of the

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